Your letters to the editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light


Deserving of  community’s thanks

The St. Louis Jewish community should honor a man of extraordinary piety, humility, and menschlichkeit who has selflessly helped countless Jewish families during one of the most difficult times of their lives: the burial of a loved one. 

This man is my friend, Barry Needle, who recently retired as cemetery director for three Jewish cemeteries in or near University City. I have known Barry for more than 50 years since I met him when he was a leader of our Jewish Boy Scout Troop based in the Young Israel Synagogue, then on Groby Road, and was so kind to the boys. 

I have watched him assist with funerals and comfort the mourners in his characteristic humble manner on many occasions. I have had wonderful visits with Barry in his office or elsewhere when we talked about the St. Louis Jewish history and other issues. I have witnessed his participation in a miracle of God to bury properly a Jewish man by himself in a downpour with no complaints about this or any assignment God gave him each day as he performed the great mitzvot of Kavod HaMet, Nichum Aveilim, and Chasdei Emet. 

I also am grateful to my friend, Jim Singman, a wonderful, humble and caring man, who will be retiring from his position as manager of our holy cemetery on Price Road, Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol, and to his predecessors of blessed memory in this and other cemeteries. May God bless these humble men and women with all that is good. 

Jordan B. Cherrick
St. Louis

STL’s bagel history

Regarding St. Louis’ bagel history (“A brief history of bagels in St. Louis,” published on Growing up in University City, the New York Bagelry came to St. Louis in the ’60s, located in Jeffrey Plaza in U. City. I worked there. It was opened by three brothers (possibly a brother-in-law) who came from New York. Two of the brothers went back to New York,  one stayed.

Not mentioned was Lichalters bakery located in downtown St. Louis, where my grandfather, Jake Pretsky and my great uncle, Max Feldman, worked for 40 years. Those bagels were thick and doughy, not like the ones we are now accustomed to.

Donna Weissberg
Roslyn Heights, N.Y.

Kudos to ‘A paragon of excellence’

Regarding “Rachel Pevnick scrubbed her Caribbean vacation to honor husband, a Jewish War Veteran (published first on, Jan. 18, also included on page 4A of this edition) allow me to say kudos to Pevnick and her family for such a noble, magnanimous gesture, for donating a check for $10,000 in honor of Pevnick’s late husband, Ted, for his service in World War II.

I know Pevnick, and I must say she is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful, people I’ve ever met.

As a former member of the same synagogue to which Pevnick belongs, I can’t begin to mention how often she talked about the wonderful times she and her late husband shared together. Truly a love story for the ages.

Pevnick has made a great impact on her synagogue, and her tireless work, effort and dedication has won the plaudits of her congregation, and made her one of its most popular and beloved members.

In all aspects of her life, she has been a paragon of excellence.

I wish her many more years of good health and the happiness and joy she has brought to so many people.

Gene Carton